Ninja Garden Simulator - Florinthedwarf reviews a new ZX Spectrum game!

To become a ninja, you must become one with nature. Or flowers, to be precise.

People think it's hard to become a Ninja, and they'd be right; not only do you have to be stealth, learn Ninja-type moves, try and fit into your outfit after a large lunch (that's probably the hardest part), but you also have to master the art of gardening. Some may say gardening is easy - pah! - try doing gardening when you have scores of other Ninjas trying to infiltrate your Ninja base because you've left the windows open. Ah, you're not so cocky now are you?

Argh! Bombs! This flower pot should protect me...
Ninja Gardening Simulator by Andrew Bunker is another game we can thank AGD for and is a lot of fun. The premise is simple - after a long day Ninja-ing, it's time to relax and tend to a little light gardening up on the roof. Easier said than done as rival Ninja gangs have now decided it's time to try and infiltrate your base (haven't they got better things to do?) and though you were clever enough to lock all the doors, the windows have been left open due to the hot weather (damn you, sun!).

Your mission now is stop as many of these gangs entering the building as you can using the only practical things to hand - flowers. You may think that a flower wouldn't hurt that much but when they're in a plant pot, it's a different story. If any six of each gang manage to get in, they'll take it upon themselves to try and destroy the building with an array of bombs. That not very Ninja-y, or indeed stealth (are these guys actually Ninjas?). Should you be unlucky enough to let in six members of each gang six times, it's game over. There are only so many bombs a building can take, you know.

Take that! And that! And also that! Ooh, victory dance!

I like to think of Ninja Garden Simulator as a cross between Tapper and Orc Attack, though minus the beer of the former and fireball option of the latter (shame), its simple gameplay makes for a high level of playability and had a nice collection of little touches. It has a banging soundtrack (well, I think so anyway!) some cute animations as your Ninja bounces across the screen with a lovely little victory dance at the end of every successful level. I particularly like the little splat as the pot makes contact with the attacking Ninja's head and drags him to the ground. Nice.

Oops, missed.
This is a great first effort from Mr Bunker and I for one look forward to any more that may come our way at any time. Tricky enough to provide a challenge and fun enough to keep you coming back for more. NGS will have you playing well into the night once it takes hold of you so I'm warning you now just so you don't blame me if you turn up late for work with the only excuse being that you were killing Ninja's with flower pots. Your boss won't buy it - trust me, I have first hand experience of this. So, if you willing to take that risk, it's time to get downloading and have a smashing time (sorry) showing the world that being a Ninja is not all about flying kicks and shurikens, it's all about the Dahlias - yeah!

You can download the game here

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